It's a pitch Hollywood celebs love: that the alkaline diet -- also known as the alkaline ash diet or alkaline acid diet -- can help you lose weight and avoid problems like arthritis and cancer. The theory is that some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you.
Eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline, on the other hand, can protect against those conditions as well as shed pounds. The alkaline diet really rocketed into the news when Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook in January 2013.
THE PRO'S AND CONS:-
What You Can and Can't Eat
Most fruits and vegetables, soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods, so they're fair game.
Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like canned and packaged snacks and convenience foods, fall on the acid side and are not allowed.
Most books that tout the alkaline diet say you shouldn't have alcohol or caffeine, either.
Level of Effort: High
You'll be cutting out a lot of foods you may be used to eating.
Limitations: Many foods are off-limits, and so are alcohol and caffeine.
Cooking and shopping: You can get fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. It may take a while to learn how to prep and cook your meals when you use fresh foods.
In-person meetings: No.
Exercise: Not required.
Does It Allow for Restrictions or Preferences?
Vegetarians and vegans: This diet is mostly to completely vegetarian. It also works for vegans, in that dairy is off-limits.
Gluten-free: The diet excludes wheat, but to avoid gluten completely, you'll need to check food labels carefully, as gluten is not just in wheat.
Besides wheat, the diet nixes most of the other major triggers for food allergies, including milk, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, fish, and shellfish. It's also good for people who are trying to avoid fat and sugar.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: Many web sites with information about the alkaline diet also sell courses, books, supplements, and alkaline-infused water, food, and drinks. You do not need to buy these things to follow the alkaline diet. There are many free alkaline food charts online that list foods you can buy at the grocery store.
Support: This is a diet you do on your own.
What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:
Does It Work?
yes, but not totally for the reasons it claims.
First, a little chemistry: A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat -- that's how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.
The alkaline diet claims to help your body maintain its blood pH level. In fact, nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.
But the foods you're supposed to eat on the alkaline diet are good for you and will support a healthy weight loss: lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods is healthy weight-loss advice, too.
As to the other health claims, there's some early evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods like animal protein (such as meat and cheese) and bread and high in fruits and veggies could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function, reduce low back pain, and lower risk for type 2 diabetes. But researchers aren't sure of some of these claims yet.
People who believe in the alkaline diet say that though acid-producing foods shift our pH balance for only a little while, if you keep shifting your blood pH over and over, you can cause long-lasting acidity.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?’
Following an alkaline diet means choosing fruits and vegetables over higher-calorie, higher-fat choices. You will also shun prepared foods, which often have a lot of sodium.
That’s great news for heart health because these steps help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are big risk factors for heart disease.
Getting to a healthy weight is also important in preventing and treating diabetes and osteoarthritis.
Some studies have found that an alkaline environment may make certain chemotherapy drugs more effective or less toxic. But it has not been shown that an alkaline diet can do this or help prevent cancer. If you have cancer, talk to your doctor or dietitian about your nutritional needs before starting any type of diet.
The Final Word
The emphasis on fruits and vegetables that is at the core of alkaline diets offers the promise of healthy weight loss. No special gear or supplements are required.
You’ll have the best success with it if you like to choose and experiment with new foods and love to cook.
But following an alkaline diet will be tough for many people.
A lot of favorite foods that are allowed in moderation in other plans (including lean meat, low-fat dairy, bread, and sweets) are forbidden here. Protein is limited to plant-based sources such as beans and tofu. This means you will have to make sure you get enough protein and calcium.
Eating out also can be a challenge. If you travel a lot for work or have a busy schedule, you might feel bogged down by all the food selection and prep.
Finally, many alkaline diets fail to address a major factor in weight loss and wellness success: exercise. You should include fitness in any healthy eating plan that you choose. The American Heart Association and the CDC recommend getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. If you have any medical problems or are out of shape, talk to your doctor first.
THE DIET PLAN:
Before starting the diet use a prepartion week to start reducing the more toxic or addictive elements within your diet. Cut out or dramtically reduce your intake of tea, coffe alcohol, processed foods and sugars
Use the preparation week to stop experiencing potential withdrawal symptoms and jump-start the process to weight loss and vital health.Over the course of the preparation week, you should eliminate these items from your diet entirely. Remember, in some cases they are hidden in places you may not expect. Be as vigilant as you can about reading labels and making sure the foods you eat do not contain the following:
-Caffeine (except from green tea)
-Processed and refined carbohydrates and sugarHigh-fructose corn syrupHydrogenated (trans) fats
-Also avoid processed, packaged, junk or fast foods.
Once you’ve completed your preparatory week, you’re ready to embark on the 7-Day UltraSimple Slimdown plan. Use the recipes on the following pages to prepare the UltraShake and UltraBroth called for in each day’s meal plan, and use the Avoid and Enjoy lists to create balanced mealsfor yourself. Set aside some extra time each day to prepare any foods and beverages you’ll need to take with you to work or other activities. Make UltraShakes shortly before consuming. The recipe for UltraBroth can be made in advance and refrigerated. You should make enough broth to last you the entire week.Also, if you experience low energy during the first day or two, take the time to rest and nurture yourself. Get extra sleep, take a nap or get a massage, so your body is recovering and healing.
The 7-Day UltraSimple Slimdown:
*Filtered water (six to eight glasses per day)
*Fish, especially small, nonpredatory species such as sardines, herring, wild salmon, black cod or sable fish,sole, and cod;
*Fresh or frozen noncitrus fruits, ideally berries only (preferably organic)
*Fresh vegetables (preferably organic)
*Fresh vegetable broth (3 to 4 cups a day)
*Legumes (e.g., kidney beans, black beans, white beans, etc.)
*Brown riceNuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds)
*Ground flaxseeds (preferably organic)
*Lemons (preferably organic)
During this program, you will avoid the following foods.
The list is simply to remind you of the toxic and inflammatory foods that most of us consume daily. Some of the fruits and vegetables, and even eggs and meat, listed here may not be a problem for some of you, but the only way to find out is to stop all of them for one week and listen to what your body tells you.
Sugar (including honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.)
Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, etc.
Natural sweeteners like stevia (although this might be fine in the long run, in the short run it stimulates sweet cravings and will sabotage your efforts)
Caffeine (sodas, coffee, tea — except for green tea)
Citrus fruits and juices (except lemon juice)
Yeast (baker’s and brewer’s, fermented foods like vinegar)
Dairy products (milk, butter, yogurt, cheese)
Gluten (see www.celiac.com for a comprehensive list of gluten-containing foods)
Most meats and meat derivaives :Beef, pork, lamb or any other meat (except organic poultry)
Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers)
Refined oils and hydrogenated fats
Stimulants (these include decongestants, diet pills, ephedra, ma huang and yerba mate)
All flour products
Processed foods or food additives (fast food; junk food; any foods that come in a box, package, can, or that are commercially prepared using chemicals, preservatives and other unnatural ingredients to make them shelf-stable)
DetoxifyThe UltraBroth Recipe
Our modern diet is an acid-producing diet — including sugar, excess animal protein and processed foods — that creates a toxic cellular environment that can contribute to many diseases. This broth, filled with many healing nutrients, is a simple way to detoxify and alkalinize your body. (For those who can’t make the broth, you can substitute low-sodium, organic vegetable broth from Pacific Foods or Imagine Foods, but making your own broth from fresh, organic ingredients is preferable.)
For every 3 quarts of water, add:
1 large chopped onion
2 sliced carrots
1 cup of daikon or white radish root and tops, cut into large cubes (ideal, but optional)
1 cup of winter squash, cut into large cubes
1 cup of root vegetables, cut into large cubes: turnips, parsnips and rutabagas for sweetness
2 cups of chopped greens: kale, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, chard, dandelion, cilantro or other greens
2 celery stalks, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup of seaweed: nori, dulse, wakame, kelp or kombu
1/2 cup of cabbage, cut into large cubes
4 1/2-inch knob of ginger, sliced
2inch piece of fresh turmuric root chopped
6 cloves of whole garlic
Sea salt to taste or preferably pink Himalyan salt if available,
1 cup of fresh or dried shiitake or maitake mushrooms.
Add all the ingredients at once and place on a low boil for approximately one hour. Or for more flavour, pre roast the roots and ginger, garlic, turmuric,before adding into rest of broth.
Simply continue to simmer to taste.
You can use as a veg stew or drain the veg off and liquidise for soup and use the remaining broth as a drink. Store in portions in freezer or in large, tightly sealed glass container in the fridge.Before consuming, heat gently. Drink at least 3 to 4 cups a day. or use a big bowl of the stew as a lunch.
Makes approximately 8 cups or 2 quarts.
The UltraShake Recipe
This shake provides essential protein for detoxification, omega-3 fatty acids from flax oil, fiber for healthy digestion, increased elimination from flaxseeds, and antioxidants and phytonutrients from the berries and fruit. Also, for alternative snack options, enjoy raw veggies and hummus (don’t forget to read the label if it’s store-bought), seeds and nuts, or steamed vegetables or chickpeas spiced up with a little extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.
Blend/ liquidise together:
2 scoops of either organic brown rice or hemp protein powder (the average is 2 scoops, but you should follow the directions for the serving sizes of the product you pick)
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon organic combination flax and borage oil
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, Goji berries, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and or pumpkin seeds
Ice (made from filtered water), if desired
6 to 8 ounces of filtered water to desired consistency ( coconut water and aloe vera juice can be used in part for more flavour and for their health properties)
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh noncitrus organic fruit, such as cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, pears or bananas
Optional: Add 1 tablespoon of nut butter (almond, macadamia, pecan) or ¼ cup nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans or any combination of these, soaked overnight.
also optional to make it into a super green smoothie, large handfull of leafy greens eg: kale, spinach, chard etc 1/2 avorcado and for flavour add chopped ginger, turmuric, cardamon or herbs
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